RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — The final nominee for the KELOLAND Media Group All-Star Girls Basketball Player of the Year is St. Thomas More junior Reese Ross, whose unbelievable run in the state tournament helped lead the Cavaliers to the Class A State Championship.
Reese Ross averaged more than 18 points and 9 rebounds a game, helping St. Thomas More get back to the state tournament.
The Cavaliers faced Lakota Tech in the quarters. With the game tied in the closing seconds, it was Ross who scored the eventual game-winning bucket.
“Knowing that they had went to a man, you know you’ve got to get it to some of your best players, and put them in position to see if they can succeed,” Head Coach Brandon Kandolin said.
“It’s a play we’ve been running all year, and it’s one of our go to’s. For my teammate Mairin, obviously, trusting me that I can make that shot really does mean a lot,” Ross said.
She and the Cavs would knock off top-seed Wagner in the semifinals and then faced Hamlin in the title game, where Ross put on a memorable performance with 25 points and 13 rebounds, leading St. Thomas More to the state title.
“She was able to not only knock down a couple shots, but I think defensively a couple of those steals and going coast to coast, just brought out the versatility that she has,” Kandolin said.
The junior took tremendous strides this season.
“Understanding the mental rigor of performing at certain stages, that’s a continuation, but I thought that growth was the best for her,” Kandolin said.
With another year to play at St. Thomas More, Ross will look to take her game to even greater heights.
“I feel like there’s something new about every experience, every game, it brings a new challenge and a new ambition for me to go reach,” Ross said.
“She’s got to be in the top five of some of the athletes that I’ve had come through the program, and I’m very excited to see where that next step goes,” Kandolin said.
During the state tournament, Ross averaged nearly 23 points and 14 rebounds per game